Convert United States Dollar to South African Rand USD to ZAR Currency Converter

Adam received his master’s in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Several African countries in the region still peg their national currencies to the rand, including the Eswatini Lilangeni and Lesotho Loti. In 1986, following the substantial depreciation of the rand, the countries replaced the RMA with the Common Monetary Area (CMA) to manage monetary policy. The CMA and the Southern African Customs Union work together to help member nations.

  1. Banknotes are printed and issued in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 rands.
  2. Instead, a series of banknotes containing photos of the country’s treasured wildlife were introduced.
  3. Below, you’ll find South African Rand rates and a currency converter.
  4. Production of the 1 and 2 cent coins was discontinued in 2002, followed by 5 cent coins in 2012, primarily due to inflation having devalued them, but they remain legal tender.[28][29][30][31] Shops normally round the total purchase price of goods to the nearest 10 cents.
  5. Increasing political uncertainty as South Africa moved to dismantle its apartheid system and transition to what would become black majority rule led to a further decline in the rand’s relative value.

The South African rand (ZAR) was first introduced in February 1961, just before the Republic of South Africa was established. The rand replaced the South African pound at a rate of 2 rand to 1 pound. You can either make the conversion using a currency calculator or by hand. Gain unlimited access to more than 250 productivity Templates, CFI’s full course catalog and accredited Certification Programs, hundreds of resources, expert reviews and support, the chance to work with real-world finance and research tools, and more.

What is South African Rand (ZAR)?

Using a currency conversion calculator is often the easiest way to get an estimate when you’re converting currency. Since exchange rates fluctuate on a daily basis, using a calculator can ensure your math is correct. You can send a variety of international currencies to multiple countries reliably, quickly, and safely, and at a rate cheaper than most banks. In 2012, the country began issuing its banknotes featuring an image of former South African President and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela. In 2018, the country also issued commemorative banknotes of all its denominations, imprinted with new images of Mandela.

Three countries that peg their currency with the rand are Eswatini, Lesotho, and Namibia. During the global coronavirus pandemic, the rand weakened to more than R17 per USD and, as of February 2024, settled to nearly R19 per USD. Gold is the country’s most exported good, representing 14% of total exports in 2021 or $20.1 billion. South Africa also exports other commodities, including palladium and iron ore, to predominately China, Europe, and the United States.However, major world developments have also determined ZAR’s price trajectory. The September 11 attacks in 2001 created global uncertainty, and the rand took a steep dive, falling to R13 per U.S. dollar (USD).

By the early 1980s, high inflation and mounting political pressure combined with sanctions placed against the country due to international opposition to the apartheid system had started to erode its value. The currency broke above parity with the dollar for the first time in March 1982, and continued to trade between R1 and R1.30 to the dollar until June 1984, when depreciation of the currency gained momentum. By February 1985, it was trading at over R2 per dollar, and in July that year, all foreign exchange trading was suspended for three days to try to stop the depreciation. When the rand was introduced in 1961, its value was linked to the price of gold. After the end of apartheid, the rand’s value began to fluctuate more as South Africa’s economy became more closely tied to the global economy.

The Rand’s Fluctuating Fortunes

In 1921, the Reserve Bank of South Africa was established as the central bank. In 1961, the South African Rand replaced the Pound under a decimalized system. The rand saw a fairly auspicious beginning, trading at an exchange rate of 1.40 US dollars to 1 rand for its first ten years in existence. Over the next decades, the rand’s value relative to other currencies declined substantially due to inflation and, more importantly, due to increasing international opposition to South Africa’s policy of apartheid – its institutionalized system of racial segregation.

Why Is South African Currency Called the ZAR?

Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets. The 2005 series has the same principal design, but with additional security features such as colour-shifting ink on the 50 rand and higher and the EURion constellation. The obverses of all denominations were printed in English, while two other official languages were printed on the reverse, thus making use of all 11 official languages of South Africa. The South African rand, which is abbreviated ZAR, is the national currency of South Africa.

The rand was also legal tender in Botswana until 1976, when the pula replaced the rand at par. The South African rand (ZAR) is the national currency of the country of South Africa, with the symbol ZAR being the currency abbreviation for the rand in foreign exchange (forex) markets. The U.S. dollar is the currency most used in international transactions. Several countries use the U.S. dollar as their official currency, and many others allow it to be used in a de facto capacity.

By 1985, the rand was trading at an exchange rate of 2 rands to 1 US dollar, and South Africa even briefly suspended all foreign exchange trading in the rand in an attempt to stem the slide in the currency’s value. The South African Reserve Bank mints and issues coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents, and in denominations of 1, 2, and 5 rands. Banknotes are printed and issued in denominations Alexander elder of 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 rands. The all-time low exchange rate for the rand relative to the US dollar was reached in 2016 when it hit an exchange rate of just below 18 ZAR/1 USD. In 2017, credit rating agency Moody’s rated the country of South Africa barely above junk status. The South African rand (ZAR) is the currency of South Africa and is issued by the South African Reserve Bank.

The South African currency’s decline in value was further exacerbated by the country’s significant trade account deficit worldwide and by a slowdown in the economy of China, one of South Africa’s key trading partners. The South African rand was first produced in 1961, when South Africa became a republic. It replaced the South African pound, which used to be the legal currency of the Union of South Africa since it was established as a British Dominion in 1910.

However, over the ensuing decades, the rand exchange rate has depreciated or weakened, meaning it costs more rand to convert to one U.S. dollar. For example, it had cost approximately R2.55 to convert to one USD in 1990, and by 1999, the exchange rate was R6.14 to the USD. Once you know that information, multiply the amount you have in ZAR by the current exchange rate. The resulting number will show you the amount of USD that you have to spend on your trip. The other option is to do the calculation manually using a simple mathematical formula. However, in order to do this, you need to know the current exchange rate.

This post has everything you need to know about converting South African Rand (ZAR) to USD, including where to secure the best exchange rates and how to avoid paying high fees on your conversion. Our currency rankings show that the most popular South African Rand exchange rate is the ZAR to USD rate. Below, you’ll find South African Rand rates and a currency converter. As of 2020, the USD/ZAR exchange rate is approximately 15 ZAR/1 USD. High rates of poverty, crime, political unrest, and unemployment continue to plague the country and the value of its currency.

The name is derived from the word ‘Witwatersrand’, which means ‘ridge of white waters’. The ridge is where most of South Africa’s gold deposits were found and where Johannesburg was built. From 2001 to 2006, the rand recovered about half of its value relative to the US dollar, moving back to an exchange rate of approximately six-to-one (rand to dollar). But then, in 2012, a decline in the key South African industry of mining sparked a fresh decline for the rand. By 2014, it was trading at a rate of slightly more than 15 ZAR/1 USD.

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